A TiVo CSR insisted that Jerry explain why he was canceling his account, so Jerry said he was moving to the moon, an explanation that might earn sympathy from a company whose logo is a martian. The CSR was not amused, and did not cancel Jerry’s account. Instead, taking him for an astronaut, the CSR gave him free service for three months, which Jerry discovered only when he presciently called the next day to verify that his account had been canceled. Jerry writes:
Oh how I loved my TiVo when I got it years ago. Unfortunately, it’s been made redundant by other services, so it was time for me to cut the cord.
You can do everything online with your TiVo account except cancel it, of course, so I called TiVo and listened to the groovy hold music.
The TiVo employee said he was sorry they would be losing me and he would help me cancel my account. He just needed to know why I was canceling.
I said “I don’t want Tivo anymore.”
“Why?” he asked.
“I just don’t.”
I should mention that as of late I’ve been through one too many of these conversations, where the employee has a script designed to stop you from canceling. I didn’t want to hear about how TiVo is *not at all* redundant to the other services I have. Because it, in fact, is.
The employee continued. “But I need a reason.”
“Just put down that I want to cancel.”
“But why? Are you moving? Do you have other services?”
“I just want to cancel.”
Now he’s exasperated. “Look, I have a section of my screen where I have to put why you’re canceling, ok?”
“It doesn’t matter to me what you put there. Put anything you like.”
“But it has to come from the customer.”
“Oh.” I said. “Well, you could put that I’m moving to the moon.”
Silence. “Moving to the moon. Well, I’m sorry you *don’t want to cooperate with us.*” Creepy. “Hold please while I cancel your service.”
I was put on hold for an inordinately long time.
He came back and said, “Any more questions?” I said no, and that was it. I thought.
The next day I checked my online TiVo account, and there was a curious thing. Instead of “canceled” it said “
TiVo Monthly Service
(3 MONTHS FREE CONCESSION)” Hmm.
So I called back, saying that the phone conversation was cut off and I wanted to make sure it was canceled.
“No,” the nice woman said, “I see here that you’re not going to use TiVo for three months, but then your service charges will resume.”
“Really? It doesn’t say I canceled the service?”
The rest of it was predictable. I canceled, again, then talked to a supervisor (who told me specifically not to record the call because he “didn’t want it ending up on the internet.”) Basically TiVo was planning not to charge me for three months and then pick right up again after I assumed my service was long since canceled. How long would it have taken me to notice the charge on my credit card bill had resumed?
The lesson of this is: if you need to cancel TiVo you’ll need a reason, just not wanting it won’t suffice. I suggest you make up a reason in advance. In retrospect I think I should have said I don’t have a TV anymore, because that seems pretty ironclad, but I didn’t think that fast.
And be diligent – double check that you’ve really had service canceled.
The CSR probably would have applied the three-month concession offer regardless of Jerry’s excuse. Jerry’s story serves as an amusing reminder that not all CSRs respect your instructions. As with nuclear disarmament or a potential pregnancy, verification is essential.